Branded as a “digital knitting machine”, Kniterate is the first machine that lets you design your clothes and 3D print them at the touch of a button. Due to its compact size and accessibility, it is a futuristic alternative to the outdated and expensive mechanized versions of the past.
Using their own app, you will be able to create garments such as beanies, scarfs, sweaters, t-shirts or even more complicated pieces like shoes, that require further assembly after the machine has finished knitting.
Kniterate has been influenced by the huge potential of knitwear to cut waste in the process of producing apparels. Unlike cut-and-sew patterns, knitted products are made directly into their final shape, with excess yarn being reusable. In contrast to the revolution that has made 3D printers affordable in the recent years, automated knitting machines have been out of reach due to their high cost and size. Unlike domestic machines from the 80s that work with punch cards, Kniterate is computer controlled just like an industrial machine yet it is adapted to suit the budget of individual studios, small businesses or homes.
The machine is equipped with six yarn carriers that can be used with different materials or colors along with smart yarn tensioners equipped with sensors for yarn breakage and large knots. Additionally, the pre-made layouts allow users to add images and text to their designs and utilize different types of stitches, making each finished product a one-of-a-kind work of art. “With a library of templates and up to six feeders, you will be able to make amazing patterns, structures and shapes that would be hard to knit otherwise.”
The Kniterate software is designed for creation from scratch, along with the possibility to design using standard templates. The creator will be able to drag and drop from a variety of stitches, change measurements, draw, and even import images and text on their designs, that can also be imported easily from other programs and converted to Kniterate’s “K-code”, a variation of the G-code that’s used in 3D printing. The software even comes with an in-build social media platform for users to share creations with other designers.
Shoes designed by Matthew Head. Knitting time 2 hours.
Jumper designed by Jinhee Park. Knitting time 8 hours.
Right now, Kniterate is still in its preliminary prototype phase. However, it has already surpassed its target goal on Kickstarter, so it expected to appear on the market as soon as April 2018.